There’s a happy ending to 70-year-old’s tale of true grit of ‘true grit’

Keith Sellars with the padlocked grint bin near to his home in Horncastle
Keith Sellars with the padlocked grint bin near to his home in Horncastle

Pensioner Keith Sellars loves to help his neighbours stay safe in bad weather by ‘gritting’ pavements near his Horncastle home

The 70-year-old was delighted when one of Horncastle Town’s Council new blue ‘grit bins’ was placed just yards from his front door in Thomas Sully Close.

However, there was just one snag. The bin had been padlocked since it was installed last month.

Mr Sellars had to walk to another bin further away in Osbourne Way so he could carry out his volunteer duties.

Now, thanks to the intervention of the News - and the efforts of Bill Aron and his town council colleagues - Mr Sellars is the proud owner of a key to unlock the bin.

Mr Sellars has been gritting the pavements on his estate for 12 months.

His initial delight about the arrival of the new bin soon turned to disappointment and frustration.

When Mr Sellars first contacted the News, he said: “It’s ridiculous. What is the point of having the bins if you can’t get into them?”

Mr Sellars admitted he could understand why bins were locked because people removed grit to treat their own drives and paths.

However, he claimed the Town Council should have appointed key holders - or said where keys were kept - when bins were installed.

He added: “Out of 16 homes near me, 15 of them are occupied by pensioners. If the pavements aren’t gritted they are dangerous. There’s an accident waiting to happen.

“I’m not too steady on my own legs but it keeps me active and I like to think I’m helping.

“I do most of the estate. I use an old fertiliser box which I’ve modified.”

Coun Aron thanked Mr Sellars for his efforts and confirmed all the grit bins now had key holders.

He appealed for more volunteers to come forward and join the town’s council’s snow and ice plan.

Coun Aron said Horncastle was praised last year for a positive reaction to bad weather and said the blue bins would lead to an improved service.

Horncastle’s mayor Coun Fiona Martin said she was delighted the town council had led the blue bin initiative.

*Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should contact the town clerk on 01507 522597. Volunteers will be issued with hi-visibility jackets and appropriate equipment.